On Touring This Summer

My mind has been on several issues of late. Been thinking about what to do with a little time off after this sale week. Most likely a little jaunt in early May. After Memorial day the store is open Sundays too and I need to be personally prepared for that. I’ve added a new employee this week that looks good to go all summer. But Im losing two other part timers. So maybe one more part time kid here this summer.

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My early May vacation just might be a mini tour. Even two days with one nite would be good and I don’t have to do it on a weekend. Although Sun\Mon would be the best.

Along with that thought is my almost set in stone tour in August. Route has been set. Ferry across the lake, then north up the Lake Michigan coastline in MI. Up to the Soo Locks to see some big ships go thru, then west along Lake Superior shoreline to Marquette. Close to 500 miles which would make it my second longest tour. And while that is not imminent just yet it has me thinking about some other smaller tours.

I am in fact going to get a Trek 920. My first thought then is to sell the Trucker but I think I will keep it too. I really like that bike.

My only upgrade to the 920 will be a carbon seatpost to soak up some vibration, and I’ll take off the 2in MTB tires and put on a much narrower, higher pressure tire like a 28c Gatorskin or equivalent.

Two smaller trips before the bigger one sound doable. Maybe even three? One each month before the longer one. July looks pretty tight tho…..

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My older non disk Trucker.. Must stop at all coffee shops when touring.

The tour in 2011 was the first with my current bags. They look so new there. 

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Motel

Im not above getting a room now and then. But when I do I’ll pick some cozy motel before a large chain hotel. But its always hit or miss with these. Some can be a little “murdery”. Its all part of the experience. I do have some bad motel stories.

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Nicer, but second floor.

But some of the nicer hotels can suck just as bad. And it s a bitch bringing everything up to the second floor.

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I camp too.

But its not always wine and cheese. I camp plenty. However, I have never “pirate” camped. Thats just too scary for me. But I hear stories of others who just pull over in some wooded area off the road and slept. I just cant. I would not sleep much anyway. I need a campground or park. 

So planning  a bit is needed. But nDSCN4641ot too much. In 2008 my longest tour was over 1000 miles and I did have a general idea where I wanted to go but really I just went the way the wind blew that day. I ended up several places I had no plans of going too. It was a blast.

Back then you carried maps. Most handlebar bags had those plastic covers to stuff your map in. Now you throw those away and tour with your smartphone. 

How easy.

Its almost cheating really. But makes the day to day a lot easier. I remember making a mistake with routes and had a bad day. Twice in fact. Once I needed to get rescued by car. Both days were not fun.

Now, ask your phone where the nearest campground is and it tells you. Some will say it takes the fun out, some will embrace it and use it. Im the latter. If this wonderful device gives me more hammock time at the campground so be it.

So… its the summer of touring this year.

I have always thought about doing a class or something on touring at the store but I just think this phenomenon is just to exclusive. I dont know a lot of people who do this. In fact maybe none. And, its pretty expensive to do in the fact that you need all the really high end camping stuff. Super light and small. Tent, bag and pad alone is $1000 for the good stuff. And you don’t use it a lot but when you do its worth every penny.

More some other day.

DLD

Wa da ya think?

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